The Drummer – Weekly Beats – May 4, 2018

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
May 4, 2018



·        Special Luncheon for Meriden Visitors

With their minister currently on sabbatical, our fellow UU’s from the Meriden congregation will be attending our Sunday Service next week (May 6).  We would like to offer them an enhanced “coffee hour” after the service and are envisioning three or four crock pot soups and/or chili’s, assorted breads, some fruit and veggie trays, and desserts. If you are able to donate one of these items, please let Virginia Smith (  or (203) 556-0908) and let her know what it will be.  In this way we can centralize planning and insure that there will be sufficient food, a variety of cuisines to satisfy all needs, and limited waste.  We can then enjoy a delicious lunch and stimulating fellowship. Please label your contributions with its ingredients. 



·        New Member Sunday – An Opportunity to Step Gently Into The Pulpit

We will be installing new members into our faith community on Sunday, May 13th and are planning another of our popular “collage” services where the Worship Weavers Team invites three or four members to each give a 3 to 5 minute reflection on a specific top.  Appropriately, the topic for this New Member Sunday May 13th is “Why I am a Unitarian Universalist” and should offer even the timid among us an excellent opportunity to speak about the one topic on which he or she alone is the most informed. Whether you are new to this liberal faith or have been a UU most of your life, you have a unique perspective on what UUism means to you that others would like to hear so that they may get to know you better.  We are all your friends here, but we can become even more supportive of each other when we share our reasons for being here. So if you want to step forward gently into the pulpit for a few minutes and get your toes wet, you may just find that you want to come for a full body experience one day.  Contact WW’s Al Post or Virginia Smith who are coordinating this Sunday and say “I am ready” and tell us all “why you are a UU”.



·        8th Annual Afternoon Tea and Luncheon date change

Our 8th annual Afternoon Tea and Luncheon will take place on Saturday, June 16th from 12pm-2pm. For those who have not yet attended, our tea is a lovely afternoon of fancy hats, finger sandwiches and desserts, teas from around the world, and most importantly, the company of family and friends!

Each year, volunteers serve as table host/esses. Those volunteers are responsible for decorating their tables with linens and dishes, and inviting guests to sit at their tables. Table host/esses are not responsible for providing all the food for their guests.

This event is not just for ladies, and we would love to have a table host….though no gentlemen have ever volunteered. Perhaps this is the year!

The cost for this event is $12 per adult, and $5 per child 12 and under. If you would like to volunteer as a table hostess or host, please email me.

Look for a link to RSVP to this event in the coming weeks.

Thank you, Sarah Miller



·        Calling for SOFT toys for the Sanctuary

So far so good with quieter toys in the Sanctuary, but we need more options to maintain our recent successes.  We still need to expand our collection of soft toys for the Sanctuary.  To make sure we have a ready supply of toys and quiet fidget items during worship, we are collecting soft toys:  foam building blocks, stuffed animals, coloring books, word games, hidden picture and puzzle books.  No hard plastic or noisemakers will be allowed in the sanctuary.  We will create a sanctuary basket with quiet toys available for use during worship.  We need a large basket to house our Sanctuary Toy collection.  If you would like to contribute to this effort, but not actually shop for the needed toys, please contact Molly in the church office to make a contribution towards purchase of soft toys for the sanctuary.  Thanks for your generosity!



·         General Assembly

General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates.  UUCGB has delegate openings.  UUCGB has funds available to assist with registration expense.  You can attend in person or online.  You can be a delegate on site or off site.  Registration rates change on 1 May.  UUCGB supports registration at the bargain rates. for all pages related to General Assembly.  Be sure to check out the GA Prep Resources if you are considering going to GA.  If you would be a first time attendee or even if not, check out attendees


If you are interested in attending General Assembly or have questions, please contact Anita Sanders for more information.



·        Silent Goods and Services Auction

Going once, going twice.  Yes, it is the return of the Silent Goods and Services Auction.  To be held in the Sanctuary starting in mid May and running through the first Sunday in June.  We need YOUR donations to make this popular event a success. 


Dinners, beach trips, birthday cakes, bottles of wine, trips to antique shows and quilts are all items that will make us some money.  So email Jennifer at  with your questions or donations. Forms will be available in the Sanctuary.  So start thinking….What can you donate?



·        A Final Thank You and Farewell 

We enjoy music created by David Child nearly every Sunday on a grand piano most of us take for granted without knowing its story.  Evelyn Stein, a member of this congregation for many years at our former home on Chapel Street gifted this beautiful instrument to the congregation because she loved good music and wanted us to have the best of it. Evelyn was a founding member of the UUCGB choir and a featured vocalist in the Chapel Street Players, a locally well-known community theater group directed by Jane Ciarcia, wife of our then minister, Reverend Albert Ciarcia.  A fiercely independent and strong-willed woman who stuck to her convictions, she remained distant from UUCGB in her later years following a conflict in opinion.  She did tell two current members when they delivered her usual order of four tins of holiday cookies from our annual Cookie Café and Sale to her home last December that she would live to be 100.  Her 100th birthday would have been in this coming September.  But there was a stronger will and she passed away in mid-April with little fanfare, per her request. Thank you, Evelyn, for enriching our lives at UUCGB for many years and for many more years to come!

Anyone with special memories of Evelyn may send condolences to her daughter, Linda Bartholf, P.O.Box 339, Greenfield Park, New York 12435.



·        Ride Requests

For those following this thread, we are working on a ride arrangement for Mr. Penyak’s friend.  Will let you know what develops. 


A second request has come in from a gentleman who lives in Harbour Towers, 376 East Washington Ave, Bridgeport.  He has no transportation but would like to join UUCGB. 


Please contact Molly in the church office if you or someone you know is able to help.



·        Religious Education for Children

After the service, and a short refreshment break, children and RE teachers will head to the Children’s Chapel for.  With this week’s class Religious Education will take up a weekly walk through our principles and sources.  This week’s class will explore our 1st principle and what it means as we live our lives as Unitarian Universalists every day.


What RE for Children looks like on Sunday morning–We are continuing RE in the “second hour” on an ongoing basis.  We hope to have a congregation wide discussion of RE for children and youth in the next couple months.  Currently, the whole congregation worships together beginning at 10 AM.  After a brief refreshment break following the service, children and teachers will gather for religious education, usually in the Children’s Chapel.  We are using a variety of curricular resources in our one room RE schoolhouse.  So far, the Faith Formation Team is Karen Pirhala, Laura Baker and Molly Nolan.  We need one more person to fill out the team.  For safe congregations purposes we must have two adults in class each Sunday.  Interested?   Please contact Karen or Molly at



·        Religious Exploration for Adults

Would a daytime discussion or class appeal?

We could do the Common Read or other Adult Religious Exploration option.  Maybe a more social get together?  If you would like to attend such a gathering or help organize, please contact Molly in the church office. 



·         UUA Common Read – Daring Democracy

Each year the UUA chooses a book, this year they chose two, for Unitarian Universalists to read and discuss.  The UUA provides discussion guides for use in 1-3 sessions, whatever works for each congregation.   The UUA suggested two books.  Interest has been expressed about reading Daring Democracy.  Al Post and Molly Nolan will be finding a couple times for discussion after worship.  If you want to weigh in with good dates for yourself to join in the discussion(s), please talk to Al or Molly at coffee hour. 


Would you like to plan or be part of a worship service but maybe not ready to be a Worship Weaver?  A worship service on this general topic is slated for early July.  You can get your toes wet helping us shape the service.  


Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, (Beacon Press, 2017) lifts up the importance of democracy itself. It examines the anti-democracy movement that has led to the Trump presidency, then offers a vision and call to action to save our democracy and to take our civic life to a place it has never been. 



·        Are you on Facebook?

If you are on Facebook, please make a point of visiting The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport Facebook page on Wednesday, Thursday and  Friday to “Like” and “Share” our Religious Education and Worship posts.   



·        Draft Mission of UUCGB

On Sunday, 14 January, we had our second congregational conversation regarding our mission statement.  A follow up discussion will be scheduled soon.

Below is the one that we came up with by the end of the session.  This is a working statement and not yet our “final” decision.  Please send any comments or suggestions to

“Love is the spirit of this church.  We welcome everyone into our beloved community. 

We are here to support each other in spiritual growth so we can go out and make the world a kinder place.”



·        From the Humanist Association of Connecticut

Saturday 5 May:  Explorations:  Virginia Lee Burton:  A Sense of Place, 2:30pm

Monthly meetings are held at 7 pm on the 3rd Monday of the month at the Unitarian Society of New Haven.  


For more information about the group and activities at: cthumanist or cthumanist



·        Tuesday Evening Taize Prayer Service

Our contemplative Service of Evening Prayer is a service consisting of repetitive singing of chants, readings, prayer and periods of silence, in order to reach a contemplative state. The Taizé Community, an ecumenical monastic order in France, founded in 1940 to promote peace and justice through prayer and meditation. Our service mirrors Taizé-style attention to silence, holy words, prayer, and singing, but has also evolved to include other meditative traditions, as well.


Service begins at 7 pm, each Tuesday, and runs approximately 30 minutes.



This Week in UU History

5/5/1619 – Conrad Vorstius’s Unitarian works were condemned by the Synod of Dort in Holland.  His works were ordered burned and he was deprived of his professorship of theology at Leyden and banished from the country.  Vorstius’s works included numerous books of theology and biblical studies. 

5/5/1751 – Judith Sargent Stevens was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  With her father, Winthrop Sargent and her first husband, John Stevens, she became influential in Universalist circles.  Following Stevens’ death, she married Universalist minister John Murray.  A noted essayist, playwright, and poet, she also wrote on women’s issues and became a leader in progressive female education.  Murray wrote the first Sunday school book for children, A Universalist Catechism (1782), for the American Universalist movement.  When John Murray died in 1815, she finished the autobiography he had begun, which was published in1816 as The Life of John Murray.  She was a woman of creative genius who was at the forefront of Universalism.  She died on July 6, 1820.  5/9/1892 – Angus Hector MacLean was born in Cape Breton Nova Scotia.  A prominent Universalist religious educator, he received his Ed.D from Teachers College of Columbia University in 1930.  He wrote The New Era in Religious Education (1934) and The Method Is the Message (1951).  From 1951 to 1960, MacLean was the dean of St. Lawrence University Theological School, and in semiretirement, he served as minister of education at First Unitarian Church (Shaker Heights) of Cleveland, Ohio.  He died on November 11, 1969.



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

Sunday 5/6, 10:00 am worship “Our First Principle” with Worship Leaders Anita Sanders and Molly Nolan

Monday 5/7, 6:00 pm Membership Team 

Tuesday 5/8, 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 5/9, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Sunday 5/13, 10:00 am worship “New Member Sunday” with Worship Leaders Al Post and Virginia Smith



Upcoming Services:

5/13 Sunday Service with Worship Leaders Virginia Smith and Al Post

5/20 Sunday Service with Rev. Rebecca Sala



Office Hours Change

As many of you know, I knit together several part time positions to make ends meet.  In my job as Deputy Registrar of Voters, I have to work Durham’s referendum all day Tuesday.  Therefore this week office hours will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday  10 AM-1PM.  Please send any items for the Drummer and/or Order of Service to the office  by 9 AM Wednesday.




Molly Nolan, Office Administrator


Please send any items you would like listed in next week’s Weekly Drummer Beats to byWednesday at 9 am!  The weekly email is sent every Thursday evening!



Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport

275 Huntington Road, Stratford, CT 06614